Jourama Falls

Paluma Range National Park, Queensland, Australia

About Jourama Falls


Hiking Distance: 3km round trip
Suggested Time: 1 hour

Date first visited: 2008-05-15
Date last visited: 2008-05-15

Waterfall Latitude: -18.86803
Waterfall Longitude: 146.12393

Jourama Falls was an intriguing multi-tiered waterfall that tumbled over at least five or six visible sections (from what we could tell).

We don’t know the cumulative height of this waterfall series, but it wouldn’t surprise me if Waterview Creek would tumble well over 200m or so.

Jourama_Falls_033_05142008 - Jourama Falls and its many tiers
Jourama Falls and its many tiers

Further downstream of the main drops of the falls, it looked like there were additional cascades and waterslides where we saw some pretty daring youngsters go for a swim despite the seemingly high waterflow of the creek.

I’m sure swimming would be a more viable option when Waterview Creek would have less waterflow than what we witnessed.

Speaking of the high water, Julie and I had to earn our visit to this waterfall as it turned out to be a bit more of an adventure than we came mentally prepared for.

Our visit occurred during May 2008, which was supposed to be around the start of the Dry Season in tropical Queensland.

The Hike to Jourama Falls – from the Trailhead through Waterview Creek Crossing

From the car park, we embarked on a 3km return track leading to Jourama Falls.

Jourama_Falls_002_05142008 - Julie on the straightforward part of the Jourama Falls Trail
Julie on the straightforward part of the Jourama Falls Trail

For the first 800m or so of the walking track, we hiked on dirt in a pretty flat and open terrain flanked by some thin trees with darkened bark.

This straightforward part of the walk soon reached a crossing of Waterview Creek, which had a pretty high flow during our visit.

Therefore, in order for us to keep our feet dry, we had to take on this crossing by carefully choosing our steps over a combination of boulders and buckets.

So this crossing was one of the reasons why we thought we were getting a little more adventure than we anticipated going into the hike.

As scary as it looked, the park authorities’ efforts in putting both chains to hold onto while also filling in buckets that served as foot steps to facilitate the Waterview Creek crossing definitely helped.

Jourama_Falls_006_05142008 - Julie carefully crossing of Waterview Creek
Julie carefully crossing of Waterview Creek

In fact, with a combination of our Gore-tex boots and these aids, I managed to keep from getting my socks wet on this crossing (though Julie had one misstep and got one foot soaked).

Considering how scary this crossing looked, I thought that getting through the crossing with minimal soaking was a minor miracle.

That said, I could imagine how even this part would be impassable had Waterview Creek been running even higher than it did during our visit.

The Hike to Jourama Falls – beyond the Waterview Creek Crossing

Beyond the wet part of the crossing, we then had to do a little bit of a stream bed scramble on a slippery field of boulders.

The awkward footing and slick terrain from the smooth boulders we had to weave through made it real easy for a fall here.

Jourama_Falls_010_05142008 - Tricky footing beyond the crossing of Waterview Creek en route to Jourama Falls
Tricky footing beyond the crossing of Waterview Creek en route to Jourama Falls

Moreover, it made us wish we had our trekking poles with us to aid with the balance.

At the end of the stream scramble, we then picked up the signs and the track again, and we proceeded to follow them.

The track then took us towards a junction with a spur trail where that spur led down towards Waterview Creek amongst another jumble of boulders.

This was the path I’d imagine some people would walk to in order to go for a swim or to just chill out by the creek (which we saw some youngsters do later on in our hike).

From down here, it appeared that only the uppermost tiers of Jourama Falls would be visible.

Jourama_Falls_008_jx_05142008 - Looking down at some young people chilling out closer to Waterview Creek closer to the base of the bottommost tier of Jourama Falls
Looking down at some young people chilling out closer to Waterview Creek closer to the base of the bottommost tier of Jourama Falls

So continuing on upper path of this junction, which was the main track, we had to go up a series of switchbacks for the final 600m.

By the end of these switchbacks, we ultimately made it all the way up to the overlook of the impressive Jourama Falls.

As if the heat and humidity of tropical Queensland didn’t already make us sweaty to this point, this uphill stretch most certainly ensured that we’d be drenched with sweat by the time we made it to the end.

Yet when we did make it to the overlook, we were treated to a very comprehensive view of the cliff giving rise to what appeared to be a broken jumble of waterfalls as five or six tiers would decorate line sections of the cliff before us.

Returning from Jourama Falls

After having our fill of this overlook, we looked forward to the all downhill trajectory of our return hike to the car park.

Jourama_Falls_003_jx_05142008 - The viewing platform for Jourama Falls
The viewing platform for Jourama Falls

However, we once again had to negotiate the tricky stream crossing of Waterview Creek in high flow.

Somehow, it didn’t seem as difficult on the way back as it did on the way in.

In any caes, Julie and I felt relieved to get through this part of the walk and return to the car park, which took us a little over an hour after we had originally left the car.

Authorities

Jourama Falls resides in the Paluma Range National Park near Ingham, Queensland. It is administered by the State of Queensland Department of Environment and Science. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit their website.

Jourama_Falls_012_jx_05142008 - Looking back at the first crossing of Waterview Creek that we had to negotiate on Jourama Falls Road
Jourama_Falls_003_05142008 - Julie on the open part of the track in the first 800m or so of the hike to Jourama Falls
Jourama_Falls_004_05142008 - Julie hesitates to do the scary looking stream crossing of Waterview Creek
Jourama_Falls_008_05142008 - Look closely at the upside-down barrels acting as steps during the crossing of Waterview Creek
Jourama_Falls_015_05142008 - We would have to scramble through this section in order to access where the young folks were swimming
Jourama_Falls_016_05142008 - Looking up towards the uppermost tier of Jourama Falls from near the Waterview Creek waterslides section. This was all of the Jourama Falls that we could see from down here
Jourama_Falls_039_05142008 - Landscape view of Jourama Falls and its series of waterfalls from the lookout at the end of the track

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The signposted turnoff for the falls (on Jourama Falls Rd) was 24km south of Ingham or 91km north of Townsville along the Bruce Hwy (A1).

We stayed at Cardwell, which was 82km (an hour drive) north of the falls.

Although the directions seemed to be pretty straightforward, accessing the car park itself on the last 6km of unsealed road was a little scary for us.

That was because the adventure with Waterfall Creek wasn’t only limited to the hiking portion as described above.

Jourama_Falls_010_jx_05142008 - Crossing one of two concrete fords to reach the Jourama Falls car park and trailhead
Crossing one of two concrete fords to reach the Jourama Falls car park and trailhead

Indeed, the unsealed access road to the falls included two fairly scary-looking creek crossings that we had to get through in order to finally arrive at the car park.

We managed to get through them in our 2wd rental vehicle after watching another passenger car in front of us move forward without any qualms about it so we knew at that point that we could do it.

That said, I’m sure that if Waterfall Creek were to run any higher than it did during our May 2008 visit, this road would be impassable.

For context, Townsville was 347km (over 4 hours drive) south of Cairns and 1,343km (15 hours drive) north of Brisbane.

Bottom up sweep of the falls (please excuse the messed up sound; Windows Movie Maker is somehow messing it up)

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Tagged with: paluma range, national park, hinchinbrook, waterview creek, cardwell, queensland, australia, waterfall, stream crossing, ingham



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Johnny Cheng

About Johnny Cheng

Johnny Cheng is the founder of the World of Waterfalls and author of A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls. Over the last 2 decades, he has visited thousands of waterfalls in over 40 countries around the world and nearly 40 states in the USA.
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